March 21, 2011 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Few events in the history of the twentieth century are as controversial, politicized, and laden with emotion as is the launching of operation Barbarossa—the German Invasion of Russia. It has become a fertile ground for conspiracy theories and a subject of unending polemics. This presentation will discuss a vital but missing dimension: the subjugation of ideological premises to the everlasting Russian imperial legacy as the driving force behind Stalin's policies on the eve of operation Barbarossa.
March 14, 2011 // 4:00pm — 5:30pm
Military occupation has been a crucial dimension of U.S. foreign relations from the early nineteenth century to the present. The occupations of Germany and Japan in the wake of the Second World War generally were regarded positively. The occupation of Iraq, which initially met with some approbation, eventually tarnished the reputation of the George W. Bush administration. Wilson Center fellow Susan L. Carruthers will explain the transformation of public attitude.
March 07, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
This seminar will delineate the French welfare state in long-term historical perspective and consider the multiple strands of tradition, institutions, and policies that contributed to its founding and development. It will link practices to successive political regimes and make comparisons between French and British welfare systems. What are the possible future directions of French welfare policy in view of past precedents and current conditions?
February 28, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
From the eighteenth century until the present, the multitude of French-Arab relationships, positive or negative, constitute what one can call, according to the famous expression of Jacques Berque, "la chose franco-arabe" ("the French-Arab thing"). This seminar will define its history and consequently its nature—and what its future might be.
February 14, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
Winston Churchill's 1946 "iron curtain" speech was the opening shot in the Cold War for Stalin, Khrushchev, and most other Soviet leaders. Churchill's summit diplomacy of the years 1953–55, however, called for German unification on the basis of neutrality and the peaceful end of the East-West conflict. How can this apparent contradiction be explained? What were Churchill's motives? Klaus Larres revisits these issues and argues that Churchill's policies were coherent and made contributions toward possible solutions in a creative way.
February 07, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
The possession of territory or bounded political space has been crucial for the modern state, but historians and political analysts have left its properties unexamined. How have the premises and practices of territoriality changed from the seventeenth century to our own era?
January 31, 2011 // 5:00pm — 8:00pm
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today depicts the most famous courtroom drama in modern times, which is also the first set of trials to make extensive use of film as evidence, and was the first trial to be extensively documented, aurally and visually. All of the proceedings, which lasted for nearly 11 months, were recorded. Though strict limits were placed on the Army Signal Corps cameramen by the Office of Criminal Counsel. In the end, they were permitted to film only about 25 hours over the entire course of the trial. This was to prove a great impediment for writer/director Stuart Schulberg, and his editor Joseph Zigman, when they were engaged to make the official film about the trial, in 1946, shortly after its conclusion.
January 31, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
When a country emerges from conflict, citizens demand that perpetrators be held accountable for past violations of human rights; that the governmental system be reformed to prevent a future recurrence of past repressive practices; that the truth be told about what really happened, both in personal terms (such as learning the fate of a loved one) and in terms of how the society came to be what it was; and that reparation be made for the moral and material losses suffered during the period of oppression. Archives are essential to meet these demands.
Ensuring Compliance: Strategies for Popular Cooptation by the Party and State Security in Communist Europe and in Ba'thist Iraq
January 27, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
With varying degrees of success, authoritarian regimes frequently co-opt their citizens to gather information on and undermine their domestic opposition. According to Martin Dimitrov, communist Bulgaria's ability to suppress dissent was diminished from the 1970s onward because the Western-led international human rights regime forced the government to replace harsher methods it had previously used with a system of rewards for volunteer informants and reprimands for dissidents. The ineffectiveness of these tactics contributed to the regime's eventual collapse. In contrast, Joseph Sassoon explained that Iraq's Ba'th Party—unable to rely upon a superpower for support and steeled by a series of wars—was able to remain in power for thirty-five years in part because it did not relax its efforts at co-optation and repression as the regime matured.
January 24, 2011 // 3:00pm — 4:30pm
This seminar will discuss the transnational history of how Europeans, Japanese, and other Asians came to promote saving by means of savings banks, postal savings, and war savings campaigns over the past two centuries. Historically, U.S. policies increasingly encouraged mass consumption and borrowing. After years of near-zero saving rates and growing household indebtedness, Americans are beginning to save again. What might we learn from other countries that boast much higher saving rates?